Bringing Jewish culture closer to Catalan youth
Medieval Jewish communities are a key point in the history of Catalonia; we cannot understand Catalan history without appreciating its diversity and the contribution that Jewish society has made.
The heritage, both material and intangible, still reminds us of the cultural, social and economic activity that Jewish society carried out in the Catalan Countries. After the expulsion and conversion of most of the Jewish population to Christianity, Jewish history in the Catalan territories was apparently interrupted for a long time.
However, today several Catalan cities and towns have a Jewish footprint: walls, houses, bathrooms, streets, cemeteries, even some remains of synagogues. Even more important is the fact that for a little over 100 years there has been Jewish life in Catalonia again, with an extremely diverse community that has grown over the years.
This community and this legacy have the potential to greatly enrich the culture and society of Catalonia, but, unfortunately, they are currently covered by a sediment of ignorance and stereotypes. To reverse this situation, it is crucial to look at the adolescence of this country, as this is a crucial period of development in which previously acquired stereotypes can even be reversed or, conversely, settled permanently. This is where the Promojew initiative comes from.
What is Promojew?
Promojew is a project funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality, and Citizenship program. It is made up of three of the main agents of Jewish life and culture in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands: the Jewish cultural association Mozaika in Barcelona, the CIB -the main Jewish community in Barcelona-, and the Jewish cultural association Limud Mallorca. These three entities have developed a program that, through 6 key actions over 6 months, will raise awareness about Jewish life in Catalonia, past and present, to 36 high school students from 6 different schools in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
Participating young people will acquire and reinforce a range of skills, including
- how to identify prejudices and counter-argue them
- acceptance and respect for differences
- how to use dialogue to overcome differences
- the contribution of Jewish culture to the past and present of Catalonia
- the use of social networks to promote coexistence
- pedagogy and facilitation skills
Thematic physical workshop
Physical cultural workshops that will serve to introduce participants to Jewish culture and reduce prejudice. These workshops will be organized in each participating municipality.
Online cultural webinars
30-minute themed webinars in which young students will participate. The main topics will be:
1. European history and Jewish heritage;
2. Cultural traditions;
3. The Jewish people in a multicultural society;
4. Dissemination of multicultural messages on social media.
Guided tour of the Catalan Jewish Heritage Route
Organized visit through a Jewish Heritage Route to the Catalan territory. All participants will discover the Jewish heritage of Catalonia, including its medieval and modern elements.
Local community workshops
Participants will organize local workshops with their families and friends in a public space in their municipality. These workshops will serve to introduce the community to the reality of Jewish culture.
Social media campaign
Participants from each school will be guided in conducting a social media campaign with the intention of counteracting anti-Semitism and promoting tolerance and interculturality.
Final cultural seminar in Barcelona
Cultural seminar in which all participants will take part, representatives of various associations -Jewish and non-Jewish- and a wide audience. It will be a great event that will serve to show the results of the project to the general public.